Amitabh Saran – Co-founder & CTO of BuzzInTown.com

Amitabh Saran, Co-founder & CTO of Wortal Inc, has over 18 years of experience in the software industry, having worked at TCS, Philips, NASA, and HP. Prior to founding Wortal; he was CTO at TriVium Systems. With a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Amitabh is an avid writer and launched his latest book “Building Software: A Practitioner’s Guide” in September 2007. Last year he launched BuzzInTown.com which in a short span has become India’s number one event & entertainment guide. Here, he talks about his new venture.

Tell me something about your venture?
BuzzInTown.com is a product of Wortal Inc, a US based company, focused on Internet and Mobile technologies, with present operations in 8 cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. The portal includes listings of events, venues, artiste profiles, groups, producers and other stakeholders of the event industry. We cover a wide range of categories of events & entertainment such as Cultural programs, Concerts, plays, exhibitions, movies, sports, and much more. For us, restaurants, food promotions and food festivals are very important, and we also cover and feature them on the portal. We also provide an eCommerce platform for ticketing and merchandizing sales.

Are you satisfied with the response BuzzInTown.com have received?
Yes. We have had an overwhelming response so far. We are getting well over a million page views a month. This indicates that there is a huge need for event and entertainment options in India, and we are filling the gap. We have a list of activities planned through the coming months, both online and offline, to increase our reach, and spread the “BUZZ”! Are You Buzzin’ Today? – that’s our motto!

Who are your main competitors in this space in India?
In India we are #1 in the online event listing space, and don’t see any specific portal competitors. There are some portals that have synergistic offerings – we know them and are infect working together with them. India requires a collective movement in the Internet & Mobile “Application” space and we are doing it together as a community.

What are the killing features that makes BuzzInTown different?
User generated content: Free listings of events in your city but you decide what you want to see, or show to the world. We realize that a sarangi recital in Lucknow is probably as important to people there as is Sting performing in Bangalore!
Collective Intelligence: Ratings of events by a larger audience rather than an editorial team that could be biased. Register to get your own account, and be heard.
Ratings of Venues: Its high time we knew a little more about the places we go to – directions, maps, Parking facilities, child or senior citizen friendly, neighbourhood and restaurants around.
Like-minded Communities: Not-yet pro´s learning sitar for over 6 years; Fans of Lilette Dubey or DJ Nikhil; People who follow bands like Aryan; People who like to run marathons; People who prefer single malts… Register and join the fun.
Online Ticketing & Passes: Buy tickets online, get free passes, signup for alerts when an event/artist of your choice is announced for your town

What difficulties you have faced after the launch?
None that are unplanned or previously unknown… maybe the fact that the response we have got so far has been monumental and we are constantly gearing up to tackle it.

Your suggestion for young entrepreneurs?
Observe (everyone sees, very few observe); “Develop” an idea (don’t just state it); Follow a business plan (if YOU had to fund it, would you put YOUR money in it?); and very very importantly – Listen!

Thanks Amitabh. Keep India Buzzing… Good Luck!

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Praveen works at Razorfish which is one of the largest digital advertising agency in the world. His mantra for life is “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. He lives in sunny Austin, TX with his beautiful wife Nidhi and son Aariv.

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